Police prohibit party meetings as ‘Defiance Day’ anxiety rises

Thursday August 25 2016
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Dar es Salaam. Police has banned internal meetings of political parties saying they are being used to plot violence.

Commissioner for Training and Operations Nsato Mssanzya said this on Wednesday stressing that the decision was reached after detecting the misuse of these meetings.

“The police had allowed parties to conduct their meetings as we believed that they would be used to discuss people’s development, but what they are doing is vice versa, so the Police is banning all internal meetings with effect from today (Wednesday),” he said.

Reacting to the police ban, commentators and opposition politicians said the police was wrong to ban internal meetings. Onesmo Ole Ngurumwa, Co-ordinator of Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition says the Police should conduct more investigations to find people who plan violence without imposing a blanket ban on meetings which are key to political activities.

Asked to comment on the police ban on internal meetings Bahema Nyanduga director of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) said talks are going on between Police and other institutions to see how people can exercise their political rights in the country.

Explaining further on the police’s decision to ban internal meetings, Mssanzya  said: “There is a plan to use motorcyclists to implement their agenda, I am  warning  bodabodas to refrain from  being involved in violence as  it is contrary to the law, whoever will violate the laws will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.

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He said some had already been instructed to buy petrol to burn property on the same date.